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Five things: Start running!

Posted Feb 18 2010 4:29am
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Welcome new followers (waving) thanks for hanging out!

This is only the second 5 things post that I have done, but I am going to do them sporadically to share little nuggets of info I have floating around in my head. Why FIVE? Because great things come in five!!

The Jackson Five

Haagen-Dazs Five

Epic High Fives...

Today I am spilling 5 ideas for you to start running! I have received a number of emails on running, things I have done in the past and plans I have used. If you are new to running, semi new or even someone who used to run, but haven't in a while, these are for you...

1) Pick a plan - The best way to set yourself up to succeed is to have a plan! I would start with choosing three days a week, for your run days. Have them in your head as days where you are going to run a little, no matter how far.

Then, pick an actual plan to execute. There are TONS of running plans out there on the interwebs that you can look up and follow! There are race plans to that map out what you should do on what day. Having those scheduled runs on your run day will help you actually hit the pavement.

Check out the Couch to 5k, the Jeff Galloway Method and Hal Higdon's plans to start.

2) Register for a race - The best way to jump start your running is to register for a race. Fork over the cash, tell a few people you are running it and there is instant accountability! You have a tangible goal in your set distance and date and you have people who are rooting for you! It is a definite motivator to have a race on the horizon to work towards and besides, when you are through, you most likely get a tee shirt, free grub and sometimes a sweet metal!

3) Go at your own pace - Don't worry about how fast other people are running--do what you can do and know when your body is telling you to speed up, walk or go slower! We are all different and even the speediest runners have slow days where they are tired, sluggish or even over-trained. Never push through an injury or a pain that isn't normal and give yourself a break. Heck, I cut myself slack and I have been running for years! You can always customize your training for speed, but make sure to know your body and know your own pace.

4) Get the gear - You don't need all the fancy GPS's, hundred dollar running shades or fru-fru tripple lattice compression who-ha's etc to run. But you do need a good pair of running shoes! Talk to someone at a shoe store or a running store who can take a look at the way you walk, and the way your feet are built. Bring in an old pair of athletic shoes, even if they aren't running shoes. The sales person can check the bottoms for patterns in your gait and this way you can get shoes that work for you. Running in poor shoes, cross trainers or worn out sneaks can lead to injury and that is no fun.

in my most non running gear!

Also keep in mind other things that will be helpful for when and where you are running. Winter running gear(check out my post here), a good wicking shirt, something reflective if your out after dark. You don't need the latest trends and most expensive stuff, just be smart about what you do need for your runs. It could mean a good wicking race tee and some reflective tape to wrap around your hat! Be smart and be safe.

5) Remember it's relative - You don't have to run 50 miles a week to be a "runner". You don't have to be thin, fast, have the prettiest gear or know what a tempo run or negative splits are. IF you run, you are a runner. And if you try all of these things, fall in love, get thinner, get fast and get gadgets then yay! If running isn't for you there are tons of other great cardio options. And if you are a now and again 3 miler, a weekend warrior, then more power to you. Running is relative--be who you are and you will do great!

Other tips: Drink before during and after long runs-stay hydrated
Always stretch after you are warmed up
Never run through pain!
Run facing traffic and carry Id
Breath deep, your legs and sides will thank you
Eat some carbs within 30-60 min of your run to help your body refuel!

If your a runner, have you always been a fan or are you a running convert?

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